Jack Sock beats Filip Krajinovic to win Paris Masters and secure final spot at the ATP Finals
Jack Sock defeated Filip Krajinovic in three sets to claim the Paris Masters crown and book his spot at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.
The American, who knew he needed to win the title in the French capital to feature at the O2, proved too tough an opponent for the Serbian qualifier who had enjoyed a dream run to Sunday's final.
Sock, the world No 22, will move into the world's top 10 for the first time in his career as a consequence of his 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory and becomes the first American to feature in the season finale since Andy Roddick in 2003.
Sock secured a spot at the ATP Finals in London
Krajinovic, playing in only his fifth Masters 1000 appearance, opened the match on serve in composed fashion with both players producing high-quality tennis highlighted by a well-executed drop shot from the Serbian to claim the opening game.
Sock began well behind his serve winning his opening two service games to love and forcing his opponent to work hard on serve with some brutal baseline hitting.
The first break of the match came in the sixth game of the opening set when Sock double-faulted on break point, however the world No 22 responded immediately with a break of his own after Krajinovic threw in two double faults.
Filip Krajinovic celebrates winning the first set
Both players maintained their concentration behind their serve until Krajinovic brought up a first set point in the 12th game of the first set and the qualifier secured the decisive break when the American netted a forehand.
Sock responded well to losing the opener making the perfect start by breaking his opponent's serve before backing it up to take the initiative.
Sock was the more powerful player from the baseline
The American soon secured the double break to move 4-1 ahead and despite initially losing his concentration on serve in the sixth game of the set, making three unforced errors, he held his focus to take the final into a deciding set.
Sock, playing with renewed intensity, moved ahead in the decider with a pivotal break of serve courtesy of two exquisite winners down the line from both wings and took firm control of the encounter with a backhand winner to secure the double break advantage against a demoralized Krajinovic.
Krajinovic was aiming to claim a maiden ATP title
Sock completed the victory with a third break of the deciding set to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title and bring an end to a run of 107 consecutive European winners of Grand Slams, Masters and ATP Finals.
"I hope this isn't the last big final we play against each other," Sock said on court after the match.
"This is my first Masters Series (title) here in Paris, my first time in the top 10 and my first time making the year-end Finals in London. There's a lot going on emotionally and I can't wait to enjoy it all with my team."
He added. "This was probably the biggest singles match of my career. If I keep playing good tennis anything can happen (in London at the O2). I feel very comfortable on court, confident in my game and I have got nothing to lose so I am going to go out and swing big and play my tennis."
Sock heads to London full of confidence after securing an unlikely spot at the ATP Finals for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Krajinovic can reflect on his best run on the ATP circuit, the knowledge he will feature at Masters Series on a regular basis next year and finishing the season as the world No 33.
From Tuesday the NextGen Finals in Milan take centre stage while the eight qualifiers for London will have a well-deserved break before the ATP Finals get underway next Sunday.